Thursday, June 27, 2019

The heart is...

There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.
~Victor Hugo

Arrhythmia by Hailey Leithauser today. Maybe it could be a mentor poem, using "The brain of a ________ is" or "The hands/feet of a _______ are" as a starting point.

Swan by Dominik

by Hailey Leithauser

The heart of a bear is a cloud-shuttered
mountain. The heart of a mountain’s a kiln.
The white heart of a moth has nineteen white
chambers. The heart of a swan is a swan.

The heart of a wasp is a prick of plush.
The heart of a skunk is a mink. The heart
of an owl is part blood and part chalice.

read the rest here


My website has been updated!

Buffy Silverman has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, Buffy!

The Flight Portfolio

[Marc] Chagall was among those ferreted to safety, though not without some hesitation. As Fry wrote in his memoir, Surrender on Demand, the painter of bucolic scenes nervously asked if there were cows in America. He was visibly relieved to hear that there were.
~The IRC

A print from the Flight Portfolio today.
[The Flight Portfolio] was created in the late 1960s to early 1970s at the behest of Varian Fry to raise awareness and funds for the IRC [International Rescue Committee]. Fry was a New York journalist who was sent to Marseilles [in 1940] with the Emergency Rescue Committee (later renamed the International Rescue Committee).

Often called the “American Schindler,” Fry conducted a covert rescue of more than 1,500 of Europe’s cultural leaders, many of who were on the Nazis' list of most wanted, such as Hannah Arendt, André Breton, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Jacques Lipchitz, Heinrich Mann, Alma Mahler, Gropius Werfel, and Nobel laureate Otto Meyerhoff.

Today, more than 40 years after the portfolio was produced, it is still raising funds and awareness, and celebrating the vital work of the IRC.
by Eugene Berman

The International Rescue Committee

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Scent Sensitivity

Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.
~Patrick Süskind

How the average person reacts to being asked not to wear scents can depend on the situation. If it's someone you don't like at your work doing the asking, or someone you don't know, or a theoretical someone, and you have to stop using products that you like and make you happy, you might grumble about it. If it is someone you love who is miserable because of, let's say, your freshly washed hair, you're horrified that you caused a problem. (Unfortunately, I speak from experience!)

My daughter Ariana has mast cell disease and fragrance is a big histamine trigger for her. We have been at urgent care to get IV fluids and at hospitals after Ariana had anaphylaxis and nurses there have worn so much perfume that it started causing a problem when we were already having a problem. (Medical personnel wearing scents?!? What what?)

In Canada, they promote patient safety with scent sensitivity policies in hospitals etc., so hats off to our northern neighbors. They extend the guidelines to include patients themselves and their visitors, which hadn't occurred to me. Of course if you have a scent sensitivity, you wouldn't want to deal with your roommate's family wearing strong cologne. Being thoughtful is hard sometimes, so many things to think about.

The website Fragrance Sensitivity Awareness says: "Fragrance overuse at work and school is an indoor air quality issue. It can have medical effects similar to second-hand smoke." They have a good list of fragrance-free product alternatives and recipes.

More tips:
Tips on Packing for a Low Scent/Scent-Free Conference
Addressing scent sensitivity in yoga class
Bustle's fragrance-sensitive hair product recommendations

For people who have a scent sensitivity:
Dealing with a scent sensitivity on business travel

A new link from Britt and her daughter: A Consumer Guide to Fragrance Allergies from Thanks, y'all!

Something that anyone can do (from Fragrance Sensitivity Awareness):
Request a fragrance sensitivity notice for press releases, posters, notices and emails: "Please be aware that fragranced products can trigger allergies, asthma and migraines in others attending the program." Request that groups and workplaces add this phrasing to publicity for gatherings.
Fragrance Sensitivity poster

Bonfire shirt:

Monday, June 24, 2019

O simple thing

Love is a friendship set to music.
~Joseph Campbell

Two pretty videos for Music Monday. Drax Project:

Reneé Dominique:

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Gliding into another day

Although written many years ago, Lady Chatterley's Lover has just been reissued by Grove Press, and this fictional account of the day-by-day life of an English gamekeeper is still of considerable interest to outdoor-minded readers, as it contains many passages on pheasant-raising, the apprehending of poachers, ways to control vermin, and other chores and duties of the professional gamekeeper. Unfortunately, one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous material in order to discover and savour these sidelights on the management of a Midland shooting estate, and in this reviewer's opinion this book cannot take the place of J. R. Miller's Practical Gamekeeping.
~Ed Zern

Matthew, my resident food photographer and the recipient of my Tummy Tamer glycerite, has read over a dozen books since the end of spring semester. (He's in a graduate program, which expects at least 40 hours of study a week.) The only ones that he's grumbled about are by D.H. Lawrence. Lawrence's prose might sometimes be a slog, but his poetry is much more manageable. Colorful imagist poems by D.H. Lawrence:

photo by Trisha Shears

excerpt from Butterfly
by D.H. Lawrence

Will you go, will you go from my warm house?
Will you climb on your big soft wings, black-dotted,
as up an invisible rainbow, an arch
till the wind slides you sheer from the arch-crest
and in a strange level fluttering you go
out to sea-ward, white speck!


excerpt from Grey Evening
by D.H. Lawrence

Dim lamps like yellow poppies glimmer among
The shadowy stubble of the under-dusk,
As farther off the scythe of night is swung,
And little stars come rolling from their husk.


by D.H. Lawrence

The dawn was apple-green,
The sky was green wine held up in the sun,
The moon was a golden petal between.

She opened her eyes, and green
They shone, clear like flowers undone,
For the first time, now for the first time seen.


excerpt from Blue
by D.H. Lawrence

The earth again like a ship steams out of the dark sea over
The edge of the blue, and the sun stands up to see us glide
Slowly into another day; slowly the rover
Vessel of darkness takes the rising tide.

I, on the deck, am startled by this dawn confronting
Me who am issued amazed from the darkness, stripped
And quailing here in the sunshine, delivered from haunting
The night unsounded whereon our days are shipped.


Nothing to Save
by D.H. Lawrence

There is nothing to save, now all is lost,
but a tiny core of stillness in the heart
like the eye of a violet.


A Word Edgewise has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!

Beauchamp-Feuillet notation

Sometimes in life confusion tends to arise and only dialogue of dance seems to make sense.
-Shah Asad Rizvi

For Art Thursday, something you might not have seen before...choreography notation! From Public Domain Review:
[These images are from] Choregraphie, a book first published in 1700 which details a dance notation system invented in the 1680s at the court of Louis XIV. Its author, Raoul-Auger Feuillet, was maître de danse of the French King. In 1704 another maître de danse, Pierre Beauchamp, filed a formal complaint, arguing that Feuillet had taken credit for what was in fact Beauchamp’s invention. The system, which survived in modified forms into the 1780s, is now known as Beauchamp-Feuillet notation. It indicates the placement of the feet and six basic leg movements: plié, releveé, sauté, cabriole, tombé, and glissé.

Images from Choregraphie by Raoul-Auger Feuillet:

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tummy Tamer

In recent years, scientists have discovered that the GI system has an even bigger, more complex job than previously appreciated. It’s been linked to numerous aspects of health that have seemingly nothing to do with digestion, from immunity to emotional stress to chronic illnesses, including cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
~Amanda MacMillan for Time Magazine

I talked about keeping your digestion happy before on Wellness Wednesday (here) but I wanted to revisit the topic because I recently made this Tummy Tamer glycerite for someone in my household. He definitely likes it...not sure whether it is helping his digestion or he likes the taste but I think maybe it's both :-) I winged it a bit based on what I had, feel free to mess with the recipe. Don't worry about leaving out an ingredient (unless it's the glycerin!). Carry on.

Also, here's Rosalee de la Forêt showing how to make digestive pastilles:

The Time Magazine gut health article (from the top quote)
Mountain Rose Herbs' 3 herbal digestion recipes

Monday, June 17, 2019

On a Summer Breeze

Listen to tbe Bee Gees and you can learn to be a great writer.
~Kara DioGuardi

How Deep is Your Love this Music Monday. I think the bit about "living in a world of fools, breaking us down when they all should let us be" resonates with people on a lot of levels. Singing about it makes you feel better, no?

PJ Morton:

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Distant oceans

Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.
~H. P. Lovecraft

When I was unsure about what to post this Poetry Friday, I turned to books from the library. The first book fell short rather substantially, but Linda Pastan did not disappoint. I couldn't find some of the poems online so I could send you to read the rest, but here are two that I did:

Marine chronometer
photo by Daderot

Ship's Clock
by Linda Pastan

The ship’s clock, stowed in a box
for its passage to the beach each summer,
continues to chime every four hours
(first watch ... dog watch ... )
inside the cedar closet.

I look up from my desk and wonder
what that rounded sound could be,
then remember the clock,
all polished brass, still marking
the watches of a distant ocean.

read the rest here


“Adam And Eve,” By Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526
by Linda Pastan

The snake is a quicksilver curve
on a branch she is almost
young enough to swing from.

read the rest here


Laura Shovan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Laura!


Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.
~from Barter by Sara Teasdale

Every Day Poems shared Sara Teasdale's Barter the other day and that's what made me think of featuring gold for Art Thursday.

Egyptian ring, between 1150 and 1069 BC

Chapel Roof; Krakow Cathedral mkII in Kraków, Poland
photo by -wit-

Gilded statues of mythological beings of the Himpahan-Forest at the Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok (Thailand). In the foreground an Apsornsi, half woman, half lion. In the background a Kinnorn, half man, half bird.
photo by Manfred Werner

Pouring Liquid Gold
photo by Dan Brown, London

James Webb Space Telescope's mirrors are covered in a microscopically thin layer of gold, which optimizes them for reflecting infrared light, which is the primary wavelength of light this telescope will observe.
Image credit: NASA/Goddard/Chris Gunn

1981 24 karat gold plated DeLorean, William F Harrah Foundation National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Tiny houses

Less is more.
~Mies Van Der Rohe

To be honest, I am not a minimalist. My daughter Elena said recently, "Mom, you couldn't fit your teas in a tiny house." Guilty as charged, but I like to see people's tiny houses. (I can imagine someday having a backyard with a tiny house in it for guests.) There's something wonderful about how personalized they are. When you are working with such a small space, every decision you make about what you put in it has purpose and is meaningful for you.

Living Big in a Tiny House

Monday, June 10, 2019

Sing it with me

I believe that singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness, and a better sense of humor.
~Brian Eno

JP Cooper featuring Astrid S for Music Monday:

Thursday, June 6, 2019

A fiery ball

The throat is a road.
~Amy Gerstler

I am typing this while having a bit of vertigo. (Ugh!) It's Wednesday morning, so I should be feeling better by the time you read this! My gosh I hope so. I have things to do! Graduations to watch! Poetry by Amy Gerstler today.
(Updated to add that I felt better in time to drive someone to the airport later that morning. Yay for quick turnarounds! No time to feel bad around here, for sure.)

An excerpt from Hoffnung
by Amy Gerstler

...If mother earth only knew how much we
loved one another she would creak, shudder,

and split like a macheted melon, releasing
the fiery ball of molten hope at her core.


Advice from a Caterpillar
by Amy Gerstler

Chew your way into a new world.
Munch leaves. Molt. Rest. Molt
again. Self-reinvention is everything.
Spin many nests. Cultivate stinging
bristles. Don’t get sentimental
about your discarded skins...

read the rest here


photo by Elke Mader

Bon Courage
By Amy Gerstler

Why are the woods so alluring? A forest appears
to a young girl one morning as she combs
the dreams out of   her hair. The trees rustle
and whisper, shimmer and hiss. The forest
opens and closes, a door loose on its hinges,
banging in a strong wind. Everything in the dim
kitchen: the basin, the jug, the skillet, the churn,
snickers scornfully. In this way a maiden
is driven toward the dangers of a forest,
but the forest is our subject, not this young girl.

read the rest here


Another poem by Amy Gerstler: Dear Reader


Michelle Kogan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!


The night, gallops on its shadowy mare
Shedding blue tassels over the land.
~Pablo Neruda

To be honest, I am not really a tassel person. (I don't generally have the urge to buy stuff with tassels on them.) But my daughter Elena is graduating from high school tomorrow and I have been making tassels out of tissue paper for a banner, so I am in a tassel-y mood.

A Handbook of Ornament (1898)

Gdańsk. Dom Uphagena
photo by Piotrus

Pongauer Festtagshut mit Goldstickerei (ausgestellt in Annakapelle St Johann im Pongau)
photo by Niki.L

Boy's frock
India, Kashmir, for the Western market, circa 1855

Mace "Assumption of Our Lady," Moscow

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Little pep talks

If Hamilton were on Twitter, he would have been a worse oversharer than me.
~Lin-Manuel Miranda

For Wellness Wednesday, excerpts (tweets) from GMORNING, GNIGHT! little pep talks for me & you by Lin-Manuel Miranda, illustrated by Jonny Sun.

Miranda explains how this book came to be in a poetic foreword. Here are a couple of verses from the foreword:

I don’t have a book of quotations
Or wisdom I pull from the shelf;
Most often the greetings I wish you
Are the greetings I wish for myself.

So if I write “relax,” then I’m nervous,
Or if I write, “cheer up,” then I’m blue.
I’m writing what I wish somebody would say,
Then switching the pronoun to you.


Good morning.
You are perfectly cast in your life.
I can't imagine anyone but you in the role.
Go play.


Woke up achy & sad? Not alone.
Woke up w/purpose & joy? Not alone.
Any way you slice it, you're not alone.
Let's go.


Good morning.
Everything could change today.
Or one tiny, vital thing.
What it WON'T be is a re-run of yesterday.
Let's see.


Good morning.
Your mind is your home and no one else's.
Furnish it as you wish.
Set the temp so you're comfortable.


*ties one end of this sentence to your heart, the other end to everyone who loves you in this life, even if clouds obscure your view*
*checks knots*


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Breathing easy in summer

Being tall is an advantage, especially in business. People will always remember you. And if you're in a crowd, you'll always have some clean air to breathe.
~Julia Child

The Breathe Easy campaign encourages residents to help reduce ground-level ozone and keep everyone breathing easy all summer by following these simple steps:

* Use public transit
* Telecommute or carpool
* Wait until dusk to refuel your car
* Inflate your tires to the proper level
* Turn off lights and electronics when not in use
* Clean HVAC filters each month
* Use a gas or electric grill instead of charcoal
* Use an electric-powered lawn mower
* Download the Clean Air Partners App to check daily air quality levels in your area

To learn more about the Breathe Easy campaign and learn how you can join the thousands who have already pledged to make a difference, visit and follow them on Facebook and Twitter @CleanAirPartner.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Go Slow

I go with the flow. Whatever music you play for me, I'll dance.
~Gael Garcia Bernal

A bop for Music Monday from Gorgon City: